Fringe ‘22 Final Weekend and Review: Rosegold
By Liz Eichler
Tonight is the last night for regularly scheduled Cincinnati Fringe shows. Wuthering; Banned From Heaven, Barred from Hell; ExperiMENTAL and Upline! Are part of the first block (two others were cancelled). In your second time slot you have SIX strong shows to choose from. click HERE for your selections. Plan to stay for the Outdoor Stage activities and enjoy the Beer Garden, reopening due to better weather.
Saturday you can see some of the favorites in Fringe Encore: Texas Annie, Upline: It’s an opportunity not a show, and The Real Black Swann.
Last night, I attended the closing performance of Rosegold, finally, and was not disappointed. Highly recommended and highly effective, Donna Kay Yarborough addresses alcoholism and recovery of trauma in her piece. She begins on stage as we are walking in. The character is clearly distraught, but proceeds to address us, with her at her AA meeting. “Smart ass is my default setting…it’s what I do when I’m scared,” she shares.
Written and performed by Yarborough, who excels at both. Her story slowly unfolds and she envelops us in her authenticity, charm and conviction. We are all at the edge of our seats as she explores themes of veils – how we hide who we are or separate ourselves from others. She has masterful delivery and pacing, and word choice which makes this intimate horror story succeed on many levels.
Next, I attended True Theatre, a one-night only event, where four theatre artists addressed great stories from their life as performers. Fringe veteran and True Theatre co-founder David Levy hosted this professionally formatted show, which was punctuated with original violin performance by amazingly talented local Prestin Bell Charles III (https://www.makeithappenmusic.com/).
First Jon Bennet (his Fire in the Meth Lab has its final performance tonight) addressed his first successful Edinborough Fringe and the subsequent un-glamorous tour he booked through that Fringe. Next, Laura Anne Harris (Destiny USA) described how encouragement from her high school drama teacher and improv helped her to break her out of her debilitating shyness. Local favorite Cait McWethy described the unbelievable feat that many theatre artists encountered during the beginning of the pandemic–to film or not to film. With creative partner Hanna Gregory, they decided to film their Fringe entry, with a $1500 budget, 10 hours, 4 lights, 8 traumatized children, 1 thunderstorm and many more enthtralling details about The Belle and Boone Helm. (The audience was advised to go to https://www.instagram.com/hmgwritesthings/?hl=en to connect with Gregory to see the film.)
Finally, surprise guest Kevin James Thornton shared about his many days and nights at the Know Staff house, which he felt was his home during his years of touring. This was a way more intimate connection with Thornton than his hysterical routine this past Sunday night. His honesty and love for all things Cincinnati and Fringe came through and even shared secrets about development deals in the works. Follow him on TikTok and Instagram.